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Chili Recipe

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close up overhead shot of a bowl of Chili Recipe topped with sour cream, shredded cheese, and diced green onions
This old-fashioned chili recipe will make you think of meals at grandma’s when you were little. It’s hearty and filling. The flavors are perfect!
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Table of Contents
  1. CHILI INGREDIENTS
  2. CHILI RECIPE SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS
  3. HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE CHILI
  4. WAYS TO SERVE THIS RECIPE FOR CHILI
  5. HOW TO STORE THIS HOMEMADE CHILI RECIPE
  6. MORE FAVORITES YOU’LL LOVE
  7. JUMP TO RECIPE

This simple homemade chili recipe combines beef and beans with a robust tomato sauce and spices and simmers away to create the perfect comfort food. It’s an easy, delicious, homemade meal that is ready in just half an hour.

close up overhead shot of Chili Recipe in a pot with a large spoon

CHILI INGREDIENTS

Chili Recipe raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 2 pounds ground beef or turkey
  • 2 small green peppers, about 2 cups diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, about 1½ cups diced
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 15 ounces of water
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda, optional to cut acidity

CHILI RECIPE SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

BEANS: Traditionally you would use kidney beans in this chili. But you could also try another kind of beans such as black beans or pinto beans.

You can also increase the beans and reduce the amount of meat — or eliminate the meat altogether to make it a vegetarian option.

TOPPINGS: Add your favorite toppings to this perfect chili recipe. Grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onion, and fresh cilantro are all great choices.

SPICE: If you like spicy chili, you can adjust the spice level in this recipe with more cayenne pepper, or add hot sauce or red pepper flakes.

MEAT: You can substitute ground turkey or ground pork for ground beef. Another option is to use a pound of ground beef and a pound of another ground meat.

VEGETABLES: You can add any other vegetables you’d like to this ultimate chili recipe. Red pepper and mushrooms are two great options.

You can also substitute the green pepper with red, yellow, or orange pepper if you’d like.

PRO TIP:

Ground beef can be cooked ahead of time in large batches and frozen until you need it. You could use pre-cooked beef in this recipe if you’d like.

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE CHILI

STEP ONE: In a large dutch oven or large pot, saute the diced peppers and onions until they’re translucent and start to caramelize.

Chili Recipe process shot of diced onion and pepper in a pot

STEP TWO: Add in your seasoning, minus the baking soda. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes while stirring continuously.

PRO TIP:

You don’t want anything to burn, so make sure you keep stirring!

STEP THREE: Add your ground meat and brown until it’s just done. It’s okay if it still has some pink in it before you add the rest of your ingredients because you’re going to continue cooking it.

Chili Recipe process shot of ingredients in a pot being cooked

STEP FOUR: Pour in your tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and water.

Chili Recipe process shot of ingredients in a pot

STEP FIVE: Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook for about 15 minutes. Add the drained beans.

STEP SIX: Stir in the baking soda, if desired. This will cause the sauce to start to bubble up. Keep stirring over medium heat until the bubbles have gone away.

PRO TIP:

Adding baking soda helps cut the acidity in the tomatoes.

Chili Recipe process shot of ingredients in a pot

STEP SEVEN: Remove from heat and you’re ready to serve.

WAYS TO SERVE THIS RECIPE FOR CHILI

Serve the chili nice and hot with your favorite chili toppings. Don’t forget to pair your bowl of chili with homemade cornbread, beer bread, or cheese biscuits.

We have a variety of chili recipes that are amazing and yummy. Try our white chicken chili and vegetarian chili for two hearty options.

HOW TO STORE THIS HOMEMADE CHILI RECIPE

IN THE FRIDGE: Store leftovers in an airtight container and then place in the fridge for up to 1 week.

IN THE FREEZER: Chili freezes really well and can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.

close up overhead shot of a bowl of Chili Recipe topped with sour cream, shredded cheese, and diced green onions

This is the best chili recipe around. It’s the perfect comfort food and having a pot of chili simmering away on the stove is such a cozy way to warm up on a cold day.

I absolutely love it and it’s some of my favorite kitchen time memories we make together.

RECIPE FOR CHILI FAQS

Can I make this chili in the slow cooker?

This classic chili recipe could be made in the slow cooker or check out our slow cooker chili recipe here.

Can I freeze chili?

This easy chili recipe freezes exceptionally well. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Can I turn this into a vegetarian recipe?

If you’d like to make this chili into a vegetarian dish, omit the ground beef and increase the beans in the recipe.

What is the secret ingredient to good chili?

The secret ingredient to take your chili to the next level is adding 1 teaspoon of cinnamon along with all the other spices. It brings an added warmth without adding additional spice and is a great way to balance the other spices in your recipe.

How do you make chili more flavorful?

You can make your chili even more flavorful by adding additional spices to the mix. While we love the classics of cumin, cayenne, and chili powder, you can get creative by adding spices such as turmeric, garam masala, or sumac for even more flavor.

MORE FAVORITES YOU’LL LOVE

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close up overhead shot of a bowl of Chili Recipe topped with sour cream, shredded cheese, and diced green onions

Chili

5 from 145 votes
This old-fashioned chili recipe will make you think of meals at grandma’s when you were little. It’s hearty and filling. The flavors are perfect!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds ground beef or turkey
  • 2 small green peppers about 2 cups diced
  • 1 small yellow onion about 1 ½ cups diced
  • 2 cans tomatoes diced (15-ounce cans)
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 15 ounces water
  • 2 cans kidney beans drained and rinsed (15-ounce cans)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda optional

Instructions
 

  • In a large dutch oven, saute diced peppers and onions until translucent and they start to caramelize.
  • Add seasonings (minus the baking soda) and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Make sure they don’t burn.
  • Add ground meat and brown until just done. It’s okay if it still has some pink in it before you add the rest of the ingredients.
  • Pour in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, water, and tomato paste.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium low heat and cook for about 15 minutes. Then add the drained beans.
  • Stir in the baking soda. The sauce will start to bubble up. Stir over medium heat until the bubbles have gone away.
  • Remove from heat and serve.

Video

Notes

TIP: You don’t want anything to burn, so make sure you keep stirring!
TIP: Ground beef can be made ahead of time in large batches and frozen. You can use pre-cooked ground beef in this recipe.
TIP: Adding baking soda helps cut the acidity in the tomatoes.

Nutrition

Calories: 365kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 1181mg | Potassium: 939mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2127IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 6mg
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  1. Computershopper says

    5 stars
    I made the chili and it was delicious. It turned out great. I didn’t include baking soda or peppers I Also I made the chili with a pound of ground beef. It was very tasty and my family enjoyed it.

  2. Linda says

    5 stars
    I’ve tried so so many recipes for Chili…this is now at the top of the list!
    It’s fun to try new recipes…
    but at least I know I have one that can always be my “Go to Chili” 😉
    Thanks for the recipe

  3. Teri says

    5 stars
    Loved loved loved this recipe!…This is our first cool day in Chicago after a hot summer I wanted some comfort food …. I followed the recipe to the exact, except I added 2 celery stocks ,fresh garlic and a little more of the cayenne pepper to this delicious dish ,here in the mid -west we like out food spicy and hot !

  4. E Phillips says

    5 stars
    I made this chili for dinner tonight. It was great.I didn’t add any butter to or soda .I used ground beef. I will be making it again. Great recipe.

  5. Janee says

    5 stars
    What can i use instead of a 15oz can of tomato sauce? I understand the tinned chopped tomatoes and paste-(puree) but tomato sauce here in the U.K. is actually ketchup. Can you explain what exactly is your tomato sauce please, is it passata?
    kind regards
    Janee